/ Is there some hierarchy in cycling
My wife and I were at Knott End yesterday setting off on a bike ride. Mine is a 25 year old MTB and my Wife has a Commencal MTB.
We want to get into road biking and as we stood outside (not inside) the toilets I saw this bloke on a road bike wearing a cycling shirt denoting he was member of my local cycling club, that I had never heard of.
Now we want to join a cycling club, so I thought this is an opportunity to find out more.
Awreet says I.
Well you would have thought I had shit on the floor in front of him. He just looked at me, not a smile, he barely grunted, then looked away.
Would it be that people with road bikes do not speak to MTB people or would it be he was just an ignorant git.
Either way, it reflected very badly on his club.
I'll be interested in the replies. I have often had a similar response when approaching strangers outside public lavatories. It's a mystery.
i would not read too much into it, one of THE cycling hot topics is, I waved but they did not wave back, I saw a letter the same in a hill walking mag. They may have a loved one dying or just lost their job. Forgive them. You’d receive a warm welcome in any club I’ve ever been in and I would recommend the local ctc as a start.
You were clearly too far down the food chain for him to talk to you...
In all seriousness, he was probably just grumpy or having a bad day. Hope you have better luck finding a friendly club and some more like minded road cyclists, there are lots of us about!
I was waiting for this.
It was not like that.
This is a serious question.
We are going on a CTC beginners ride in a couple of weeks , but this club was in the small town I live in, so thought it would be more handy.
We are enjoying this cycling lark though. Its great.
> We are enjoying this cycling lark though. Its great.
That's your answer, then. It's A Sunday in Hell, not The Famous Five Have a Jolly Jaunt in Dorset.
I've always found there were at least two main groups of cycling clubs, maybe most crudely described as the racers and the tourers. Dates back to before mountain bikes became popular and is reflected in having two national cycling organisations. A bit like climbers vs walkers (although I suspect more overlap for those two)
But also possible he was just having a bad day for reasons unknown
Maybe he was a foreigner and didn't speak English?
There is snobbery amongst some roadies towards mountain bikers and some roadies will even ignore anybody who doesn't have the chiselled half-starved looks, stubble, designer kit and air of seriousness.
You don't need to join a club; I have tried a big Clitheroe club and found that it wasn't for me as the large groups often attract antagonism from impatient drivers and inevitably there's someone in the group who tries to escalate the conflict. If you ask around you will find that good local bike shops have small informal groups going out several times a week, Green Jersey in Clitheroe is a good example. Great shop and cafe too.
I find that the kind of people that join clubs are often lacking in social skills/awareness. This seems to be why they need to join clubs.
Not everyone of course, but a large percentage of club types tend to be awkward, tedious or both. Why the f*ck would you go out on your bike in 'club kit' for instance?
Same goes for climbing clubs in my experience.
It is the same as in all sports, you'll meet some extremely good club cyclists who are borderline semi pro who would happily chat bike with anyone anywhere anytime and you'll get the club cyclist who is carried by the pack and never rides at the front who thinks they are a cut about your commuter or mtb rider.
Just ignore their stance and touch base with a club, they'll likely have different groups for those wishing to go out at different paces etc.. so there is no need to feel intimidated about not being fast enough.
I'm assuming if your bike was 25 yrs old then you probably weren't wearing the latest up to date all in one aerodynamic daglo spandex/lycra pants, could this of been the problem ???
Cycling isn’t my primary sport, so I haven’t joined a club, but certainly enjoy cycling. I find most cyclists are friendly, with the odd exception, like life I suppose.
My other half is in a similar position, but she did do a Women’s Charity Night Ride last year in Bury and a lot of the people involved in that were from Bury Clarion. She said that they were very friendly. It’s the club where Simon and Adam Yates started, but I get the impression that they welcome all abilities, not just future Grand Tour winners. I know a few people who ride with West Pennine, all nice people, but I know less about the ethos of the club.
No i don't think it is the road v mtb bike thing, when i was in a club many riders had both types of bike, including myself.
Maybe you looked a bit dodgy ???? outside the toilet, was your wife with you at that moment?
> You don't need to join a club; I have tried a big Clitheroe club and found that it wasn't for me as the large groups often attract antagonism from impatient drivers and inevitably there's someone in the group who tries to escalate the conflict.
I'm in a club that is mixed sport, bike run ski and orienteer. I never do the group bike training or racing. Perhaps I'm selfish, I prefer my pace, want to pee and cafe stop at a time i decide etc.. besides not riding as a group definitely makes you stronger overall.
> Maybe you looked a bit dodgy ???? outside the toilet, was your wife with you at that moment?
Big paper bag too....
Cyclists are people (apart from Chris Froome who I suspect is a robot) and people by their very nature differ in their social skills.
You could well have bumped into someone else from their club who’d have fallen over themselves to get you involved.
Don’t let it put you off.
It takes all sorts.
There are clubs of all shapes and sizes. Some are pretty much aligned to race; if that local club is one of those and he was an arse, then instead of explaining that to you (it's not difficult) he gave you the cold shoulder.
Have a look for local clubs on the internet. Look for ones that welcome a wide range of abilities and have several different pace groups. My club (notwithstanding the current schism over start times on a Sunday morning) is welcoming to all and the slow paces group does out at a sedate pace. Thereafter, there are groups at increasing paces to suit most.
Personally, I found that the club helped me a great deal, both in the stuff that I learnt and the fitter I got (you're riding off the front of one pace group, so you step up a group and find that you're struggling to hang on to the back, but the effort pays off until you settle down at a pace that suits).
You're always dealing with people, of all sorts. Some you like, some you don't. Some are touchy, some are mellow.
Give it a go. The only thing that I would say, is that mountain bikes and road cycling clubs don't mix too well. Our slowest pace group has a couple of hybrids, but that's it.
From your sample of one, it seems statistically unreasonable to assume that this is some cycling based prejudice. Maybe he was just a dick?
My personal policy is to acknowledge everyone on two wheels (or even sometimes three ;-) ) Roadies, mtb, cyclocross ,commuters, kids on the way to school, pensioners on the way to shops, pensioners zooming past me etc etc after all “Good manners cost nothing, Bad manners can cost you your reputation” !
If someone whizzes past me (not an infrequent occurrence) without so much as a grunt then I shout a cheery hello at their disappearing arse and feel better about myself !
My favourite anti-social cycling club story was one in Wales that was taken over by a man so exclusive that he refused to accept any new members and so difficult that all existing members left. Ended up being a one-man club.
More broadly, echo what's come through above, most clubs are friendly, but they're made up of people and inevitably some aren't very chatty.
This may or may not help:
"Mountain Bikers are generally also more inclusive than Roadies, which is largely due to the fact that they have a tendency to get "stoked" about things and actually seem to enjoy themselves when they ride. While some Roadies do ride off-road as well, many are put off by the presence of distasteful things like mud, rocks, fun and a spirit of camaraderie."
Every hobby has a number of bell-ends.
Unfortunately cycling just seems to attract a larger percentage than usual. Don't let 'em put you off though.
Regardless of whether I am on my MTB or my road bike I will say hello to other cyclists. Particularly if I'm over-taking them. Mind you I will also say hello to runners, walkers, horse riders etc. And dogs. Basically the more you smile and be nice, the more you will enjoy your ride.
I've never been a member of a cycling club, so never been out with a "chain-gang", but it does seem to create a certain insularity
> I've never been a member of a cycling club, so never been out with a "chain-gang", but it does seem to create a certain insularity
I think pack or herd mentality, can make some people ride in a manner they would never do on their own.
> I find that the kind of people that join clubs are often lacking in social skills/awareness. This seems to be why they need to join clubs.
Oddly enough, it's actually because of my lack of social skills awareness that stops me joining a cycling club. Much prefer the solitude that getting out on the bike gives me. Been out with a few pals on long rides, but that's the exception. Probably why I don't do any team sports as well. That and being unfit, overweight, uncoordinated etc.
Some people are rude tossers. Some of these rude tossers ride bikes. Some of these bike riding rude tossers ride road bikes.
> From your sample of one, it seems statistically unreasonable to assume that this is some cycling based prejudice. Maybe he was just a dick?
Maybe he was, or just having a bad day.
I wondered if me riding an MTB was akin to turning up at Stanage with my Bolt gun, to a road cyclist.
Club tops don't necessarily designate clubs as such. Groups quite often club together to get a 'club' top with "village cycle club" on them, but really its just a bunch of mates from down the pub.
> Every hobby has a number of bell-ends.
This is true; case in point - my pastime seems to only consist of bell-ends. Probably shouldn't have taken up campanology.
The other thing that you could do is look at this http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/
Some people pay a lot of attention to them (Rule 1). Others are more selective in the rules that they follow, adhering to Rule 5 and Rule 20, and choosing a sample of the others that appeal to them personally. A ride in pouring rain and wind in February is known as a '5 and 9' in my club.
Being put off by a cold shoulder needs reference to Rule 5.
With the exception of rules 16 and 17 (Rainbow or Team kit) most of those rules should be ignored
Rule 1 should be "Don't be a prick"
The Rules are basically a tongue in cheek style guide, or at least the should be treated as tongue in cheek. I particularly enjoy the rejection of triathlon.
As an MTBer, I'd say the response was about the norm from a road biker.
Join his club and kick his ass(on the bike) then leave?
You need a humour transplant if you can read through the rules without smiling!
I think the rules on socks are important.. you can judge a person by their socks..
I wear merino wool mountain biking socks inside my mountain biking shoes with mountain biking cleats !
> I wear merino wool mountain biking socks inside my mountain biking shoes with mountain biking cleats !
Was thinking more about colour and style, a bit like folk and their ties.
I have mixed and matched my attire too, in an effort to eliminate a hot spot I kept getting in only one foot.
They do normally seem a bit perturbed by people having fun
The CTC group I spoke to seem OK, they are talking meet at a Cafe, Cycle to a Cafe, then Cycle back to a Cafe, with maybe a Cafe enroute. Maybe its a Cafe to Cafe club, whatever it sounds grand to me.
My lot are sound (the spin-off group following the start time schism). Early start, breakfast three hours later, pub three hours after that. Pushed one of the party back home after spindle sheared (mercifully close the end). All very amicable, except for a few stern words for one of the party who decided to drop everyone and time trial home, having been sat at the back for the past 80 miles. If he had that much in reserve etc
The trouble with 'the rules' is, far to many people see them literally as 'the rules' instead of a pretentious pile of tosh there to be broken !
I always carry my pump on the frame ;-)
Most in my club have a road bike and a mtb bike. Most are sociable, some are crabbit occasionally including me. At the weekly tt most talk sociably but a couple don’t even talk to themselves????
> Club tops don't necessarily designate clubs as such
Indeed. I've got 'UKC Velo' and 'Team Stupid' shirts...
Just beware, I remember going out with the Bristol ctc on an evening club ride to a few pubs and home to a Bristol pub. It was stated they were more a drinking club with a cycling problem ;-) My current club is cake and cafe appreciation club with a cycling problem.
I am not a cyclist, but, I guess, a shy, introverted and busy runner who has shied away from joining clubs for the very reason that they seem far too sociable for me! I don't want to go to a cafe and eat cake. Doing this seems to be a big feature of cyclists on my Strava feed. I want to cycle or run then go home and get on with other stuff (that includes but is not limited to, talking to strangers on the internet!).
> > Club tops don't necessarily designate clubs as such
> Indeed. I've got 'UKC Velo' and 'Team Stupid' shirts...
I've got Cranky Bastards CC and Ickleton Badgers CC
Seeing as you,ve been disparaging of club membership, have you considered that had you joined a club, learnt and progressed, after 20 years climbing you might have got beyond E1
> I'll be interested in the replies. I have often had a similar response when approaching strangers outside public lavatories. It's a mystery.
It's the line about comparing pumping technique, that get me the funny looks.
> have you considered that had you joined a club, learnt and progressed, after 20 years climbing you might have got beyond E1
I always reckoned it was my excessively muscular legs and short hamstrings from running and cycling that limited my climbing grade, so I fail to see how joining a cycling club could improve my climbing grade...
> Probably shouldn't have taken up campanology.
Never! shimanology till i die!
> Maybe he was a foreigner and didn't speak English?
Maybe he was a southerner.
> Maybe he was a southerner.
Maybe he was a common-or-garden chip-carrying northerner
> Maybe he was a southerner.
... and didn't understand the greeting.
> Maybe he was a common-or-garden chip-carrying northerner
That is where you are going wrong, you should be nice to people carrying chips!
I have been a member of a club, and many fine people I have met through that club. Nonetheless I stand by my point about the type of people attracted to clubs.
Clearly it doesn't count as I only climb E1, but then elitist pricks are another type of club member, as noted by others.
> I am not a cyclist, but, I guess, a shy, introverted and busy runner who has shied away from joining clubs for the very reason that they seem far too sociable for me! I don't want to go to a cafe and eat cake. Doing this seems to be a big feature of cyclists on my Strava feed. I want to cycle or run then go home and get on with other stuff (that includes but is not limited to, talking to strangers on the internet!).
Unfortunalty my cycle club has turned to being a cafe ride culture - gone from being a club ride of 20-30 folk (split into groups) to now being a cleek of about 6, all of whom spend more time discussing which cafe to visit as opposed to which route to ride - I rarely go out with them now. There are "bad" cycle clubs out there, but mostly good one - depends on what you want though - a ride or a cafe ride
I’m sure I didn’t suggest it would. By the way I always thought running would slim you down, and many cyclists lead hard grades. One friend of mine who has been a cyclist and the world!! 10K vets road running champion is also an extreme climb leader.
Well balanced; chip on each shoulder. When I joined a climbing club I was a VS leader, but I was prepared to learn and it went well. Pete Boardman was also a VS leader member of the same club. What have you got against club membership and why would only leading E1 stop you from having a valid point of view. Wanker!
Got all the road gear but I still make a point of waving and chatting, if possible, to everyone on any kind of bike, on a horse and on foot.
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